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POTS Lines Are Going Away, Now What?

On August 2, 2019, the FCC Forbearance Order 19-72A1 was issued, which mandates that all POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines in the US be replaced with an alternative service – such as fiber or wireless connections – by August 2, 2022. This date will soon be upon us and businesses and organizations through the US needs to figure out what they will replace their POTS lines with. You can see the order here…

What This Means

This means that telecommunications carriers have been given permission to abandon outdated, degrading copper POTs lines. Therefore, they no longer need to maintain these lines, nor will they have to sell them. Many states have already seen the first effects of this initiative, phone carriers are dramatically increasing rates on traditional POTS lines, many rates are now running in the range of $50 -$90 or more as carriers try to discourage businesses from continuing to order or retain these lines. Many customers have already been seeing messages in their phone bills stating that their carrier will no longer support POTS after a specific date. Unfortunately, many businesses who no longer receive paper bills are not seeing these messages. Customers are also seeing slower time to deliver new lines and slower responses on repairs. Voice quality is also deteriorating. I spoke to a client recently that said that they know the copper infrastructure has been deteriorating and lines are corroding, and he can hear the static on the calls on his lines that are through the traditional phone company, and it continues to get worse but knows the phone company is not motivated to replace the copper on the poles because it is too expensive and not worth maintaining. We are in the process of planning his next steps.

What Should You Do?

There are alternative solutions to POTS lines. Voice Over IP (VoIP) can be an option in the right situations and can vastly enhance your communications. However, there are certain situations where VoIP solutions will not work, such as security and fire alarm lines, elevator lines, analog modem data, emergency call boxes, and (reliable) faxing. Solutions called POTS in a Box, in which carriers are using Wireless LTE solutions to make the conversions from analogue to digital and this can be as reliable and much more affordable than traditional POTS lines. For fax lines, E-fax solutions have become very popular and are frankly much more convenient and faster than most traditional fax machines. Bottom line is there are options.

Since there are approximately 36 million POTS lines in the US currently it is questionable as to how likely it is for the FCC to hold firm to this date, but most carriers are not waiting to find out whether they will or not. Therefore, you as a consumer of these service should not wait either as it could make your life very uncomfortable.

Our recommendation is to reach out to us at Genesis Business Advisors. We can discuss your options with you help you find the right replacements, get quotes for you, and even place the orders for the new services for you. We are here to make your life easier and take that burden off your shoulders so you can focus on your day-to-day needs.

Call us today at 919-371-8405 or email us at and we will be glad to help you!

Gib Davis

Managing Partner Genesis Business Advisors

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